Todd — Solo —at The Edge, Palo Alto, CA, 11/16/03

Review by Debbie Baratz (Switch to

First of all I want to say that I really enjoyed the show last Sunday night. This was the best solo Todd show I have seen in a few years. I had never been to The Edge before, but I had heard that it was recently renovated. I expected to see a lot of people that I knew there from the Bay Area but I only saw a handful. Most of them were people that I recognize from Todd/Fest West fan-gatherings here in California, including Wendy Block and her friend, and Kim & Steve Lafond.

Todd was "on"! His voice was really clear and strong, and he was in a really good mood. For me, most of the time when Todd does a really good show, it's because he's in a good mood. He commented on the fact that the place looked different and said that he really like it better, ("Last time I was here I was really sweating!"). The crowd was really quiet and respectful. I did not know that the floor would be mostly tables that were not reserved but people were seated early. I purposely got there at the end of the opening act, because I did not want to stand for a long time through an act I didn't know and be tired when Todd came on. I wound up having to stand on the side, but I was right near the front of the stage to the right of tables and this worked out perfectly for me. Someone told me earlier that he was scheduled to play for an hour and a half, but it was a two hour show.

I felt that Todd was really into performing this evening— he was relaxed, but full of energy, and his old, irreverent and generous self. There have been shows in the past year or two when he was sarcastic, moody, sloppy, and did not seem into performing. This show was quite the opposite. He sang with feeling and played well and was genuinely glad to be there. When he played the piano, he was not self-critical about his playing ability. (I realized later on that in the last few years at least one reason why he has been so sarcastic about his playing ability was because of his vision problems and lack of being able to see the piano keys well ...hey, he must've finally gotten new glasses!) If he didn't "rehearse", I couldn't tell, and maybe it was just that he's done so many similar shows, that he finally "has it down". Well, this evening, it seemed fresh and new, somehow. Only one small flub that I noticed, on the piano, but he laughed at himself and went on.

But I even enjoyed the songs that he does all the time (which is kind of rare for me), like "Love of the Common Man" and "Cliche" and this was really saying something for this evening because when he first started doing "Hello It's Me" I groaned inwardly but I thoroughly enjoyed it, as I waxed nostalgic. I also even enjoyed "Bang on Ukelele All Day", which was funny and fun. (In the past, the novelty had warn off ...I was bored with it, thought it was too corny, and didn't want to hear it anymore on the ukelele.)

Here were some of the highlights: I especially had fun during "Born to Synthesize". He went into the Jetsons thing in the middle which was really funny and then a rap about how he thought this was the way that it was supposed to be these days, you know, the future is here, why don't we have those flying cars in the air and stuff, and how he is especially disappointed that he doesn't have a robot maid. The encores also really stand out in my mind, especially "What's Going On?" (the Marvin Gaye tune) at end, and also "Lunatic Fringe" which I've never heard before, and earlier in the show, "I Don't Want to Tie You Down" and "Beloved Infidel" (really sweet). I also enjoyed the fact that he was getting into a bit of his old political banter.

I was amazed to hear four encore tunes ...hey, he came back twice and seemed to feel like lingering. The show was such good energy, but those encores seemed to make it even much more special. Even though there was a rope barrier between him and the crowd he leaned over to shake many hands & sign autographs. He even shook my hand when I didn't expect it ...right before he was leaving, he looked straight at me and stuck his hand out, of course what else could I do. I've been smiling for days!

I feel really happy to know that Todd has still got it in him to do a great show and my faith in him as a solo performer is renewed. I've been to probably hundreds of Todd shows, in many different conditions & permutations, over the last almost 30 years (!!), and this time I was not dissapointed!

Other reviews for Miscellaneous Dates 2003
11/16/2003 - The Edge - Palo Alto, CA

Other reviews for overall Solo dates 2003

The Todd Rundgren Connection is brought to you by Roger D. Linder & The Linder Logo Rocemabra Web Services.